letter to schools about the Dutch reach

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  • They arent breaking that law, one could argue that law implies intent. Very accusatory imo.

    There's no intent in the law, it's a straightforward don't do it.

  • Good on you for doing this

  • no probs, cheers for the input!
    yes, i agree with your comment. i actually did remove 'the law' bit before i sent it out - as you pointed out it did feel a bit ott, and i didn't want the letter to sound like i was accusing anyone of anything.

    i'm fully aware it'll most likely have no impact whatsoever - but no harm in trying!

  • Although good practice, its not always possible is it. Especially on narrow / busy roads. Bit of a flippant suggestion and is pushing the responsibility to the victim, in the case of a dooring imo.

    Nah, I just can't agree with this.

    Telling people they should ride in the door zone, no matter how many provisos that 'should' comes with, is flippant downright dangerous.

    Unless you literally have, parked cars|door zone|brick wall then it is possible to keep yourself out the zone. Yeah it might put you in the main carriageway with traffic and there of course will be risks associated with that but I cannot envisage a situation where those risks outweigh the risks of riding in the door zone.

    You can give it all this ideal world scenario chat but just keep out the door zone and you can't get doored.

    Leaving my original post visible so the thread makes sense but what I wanted to object to was the calling out of anyone who says "Don't ride in the door zone".

    I know it can seem like victim blaming but I feel that in the context of discussion among cyclists its an important message that is always worth saying.

  • This would pretty much mean you can't filter through stationary traffic though.

    Obviously it's best to keep out away from parked car doors but that's only part of the "dooring" problem. There's also those people hopping out of cars in traffic at the lights and the like which pose a danger.

  • Or a single carriageway road with cars parked on both sides. If you ride out of the door zone past parked cars, you can easily be on the wrong side of the road depending on the road width and layout

  • here's a quick sketch of the situation i have to negotiate which prompted my letter.

    if i ride out of the door zone on the off side i'm faced with oncoming traffic, which is also trying to overtake other badly parked cars, and often queuing to turn right across the lane into the road next to the school (not drawn)

    if i filter on the near side, there is quite often a long queue of slow moving traffic, and this is where i've almost been taken out by kids getting out on the pavement side from cars that have stopped in traffic without pulling over to the kerb.

    i've never been doored because i'm aware of it, and as a pretty competent / experienced cyclist i know to ride cautiously in these situations, but a lot of the kids riding to the school likely don't have that knowledge.

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  • If the door zone of the cars parked on either side of the road extends to the middle of the road would you get a car down there?

    @aggi if filtering puts you in the door zone is it safe to filter?

    I could make those provisos I mentioned where I'd say that if you have to enter the door zone then you should reduce your speed to the point where you can comfortably come to a stop instantaneously ie walking pace or lower. But of course its easier, and safer, to say "Don't ride in the door zone".

    There's definitely a difference (in my opinion) between having a verbal conversation on the subject where you can talk about these situations and putting a post on the internet. I feel like the potential for injury or worse is such that noone should be called out for saying "Don't ride in the door zone".

  • Who’s telling people they should ride in the door zone? Absolutely not me, I’m well in the stay the f away from parked cars camp and tell anyone who listens to do the same.

    What I’m talking about is I regularly have to move into the door zone even if it’s temporarily to allow room for traffic coming in the other direction (for example). Especially when often hostile drivers occupy more space than they need and don’t check their speed at all to accommodate sharing the road with someone -or say me and my family who are more vulnerable.

    I slow down, take extra care, and am observant of what’s happening with the parked cars. Then move back to relative safety when I can

    The only alternative on many roads is to completely stop every time the road gets slightly congested.

    All that care and attention can be completely invalidated by someone saying, well you shouldn’t have been in the door zone in the first place (that’s the flippant response). When no, I shouldn’t have been doored full stop.

  • Bit of a flippant suggestion and is pushing the responsibility to the victim, in the case of a dooring imo.

    You didn't say "Ride in the door zone" but you called out someone who said "Don't ride in the door zone".

  • if filtering puts you in the door zone is it safe to filter?

    I think this might be down to what you're defining as the "door zone". Is it the spot just to the right of parked cars or anywhere where you may get taken out by a door (for instance filtering between two lines of stationary traffic)?

  • As others have said, you could just ride a bit further away and the reply from the school will probably be likewise.

    @MCamb maybe I'm reading this differently to you but I don't think @.mo. is pushing blame onto the op for being in the zone, rather advising that the best way of avoiding getting doored is to ride defensively and I don't think they should be called out for saying this.

  • Probably an analogue thing ie risk decreases the further you are from the car.

  • Admittedly, I've re-read my first post and I've worded it poorly. Sorry.

    You weren't saying they should at all.

  • ok, to try and clarify what I'm saying, is that in the context of raising awareness about the dutch reach what cyclists do to ride defensively almost shouldn't be mentioned (from the POV of drivers and passengers).

    In the context of general cycle safety yes riding defensively is incredibly important. but batting away the suggestion to open car doors safely by saying cyclists shouldn't even be there removes the sense of responsibility from drivers and passengers.

    hopefully that clears up my view a bit?

  • all good, :). I can be wording things more clearly too

  • No worries, was a knee jerk reaction from me, I should have considered the point I wanted to make more carefully.

  • Do let us know if you gain traction!

    @MCamb Im not blaming the victim but I am aware that generally its best to be prepared for "well what can you do too" as the first response. Be Teflon, as they say.

  • yeah I get you.

    I would treat them as two separate campaigns.

    1- to raise awareness for drivers and passengers about the danger opening a door without looking can cause (and legal responsibility of the driver).

    2- raise awareness for cyclists, ride defensively when possible with a strong primary position, to protect yourself as much as you can - also be aware when you're putting yourself in danger and adjust your speed accordingly.

    conflating the two is what I have issue with i think.

  • Totally.

    Its a two way street really.

    ...getting my coat

  • I received a response from the school today, they've put this into their newsletter.
    not perfect, but better than the nothing I was expecting.

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  • Great result!

  • Nice to see they read and reacted to your letter. A shame that the information for people in cars is in the second half of the section for cyclists though.

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letter to schools about the Dutch reach

Posted by Avatar for bigshape @bigshape